GALATIANS CHAPTER ONE

OBSERVATIONS

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand in accordance with the framework in which it was written: a framework which is defined by the normative rules of language, context and logic - rules which do not impose undue, unintended meanings to the text  , and which largely limit the observer to the content offered by Paul's epistle to the Galatians and his other writings. In order for any passage from elsewhere to be considered, it must have a relationship with the context at hand, such as a Scriptural quotation or a specific cross reference in the passage at hand by the author. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture. Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

I) [Gal 1:1]:

(Gal 1:1 YLT) "Paul, ... apostle - not from men, nor through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, Who did raise Him [from] the dead -"

A) (Gal 1:1) [Manuscript Evidence For Gal 1:1]:

According to Jerome, Marcion made a significant change in this verse to render it with, "Jesus Christ, the one raising Himself from the dead," in order to emphasize the idea that Jesus raised Himself from the dead of His own accord, without assistance from His Father. This replaces the better attested manuscript evidence that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead. Since Jesus Christ is God, and since the Father is God, there is no difference either way. Marcion's attempt to discredit the doctrine of the Trinity does not work even if the change was accurate.

B) PAUL IMMEDIATELY AND EARNESTLY  DECLARES HIMSELF TO BE AN APOSTLE NOT FROM MEN, NOR THROUGH MAN, BUT THROUGH JESUS CHRIST AND THROUGH GOD THE FATHER WHO RAISED HIM [CHRIST] FROM THE DEAD

(Gal 1:1 YLT) "Paul, ... apostle - not from men, nor through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, Who did raise Him [from] the dead -" =

Paul begins his letter to the churches in Galatia by immediately and earnestly declaring himself to be an apostle, not from men, nor through men, nor was he appointed an apostle by any official body such as the leaders in Jerusalem or Antioch - emphasizing that the establishment of his apostleship had nothing to do with man; not even Ananias, who assisted Paul in Damascus, (cf. Acts :10-17); nor Barnabas, who played a stragegic role in opening doors of ministry for Paul in both Jerusalem and Antioch (cf. Acts 9:27; 11:25-26). But Paul wrote that his apostleship was received through Jesus Christ, and through God the Father, Who did raise Him [Christ] from the dead. So Paul made the bold claim that his call was of heavenly origin, from God the Father and the risen Lord Jesus Christ. This is the only direct mention of the resurrection of Christ in the epistle. It emphasizes the importance of that event to Paul's apostleship, for he was not called to be an apostle during the earthly ministry of the Lord but by the resurrected Christ. This statement of his credentials even before he writes his greeting and in the absence of his usual expression of thanksgiving and praise for the believers to whom he is writing implies that there is a question as to the validity of his authority and message to the churches in Galatia.

The usual expression of thanksgiving and praise for the believers in Paul's epistles was replaced by an admonition to them about their legalism beginning immediately after the greeting, in verse 6, which further implies that Paul's authority had indeed come into question.

C) PAUL'S APOSTLESHIP WAS APPOINTED BY THE RISEN LORD TO BEAR THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST BEFORE THE GENTILES AND KINGS AND SONS OF ISRAEL

ON THE WORD APOSTLE

1) [Acts 9:15]:

(Acts 9:15 NASB) "But the Lord [Jesus Christ] said to Ananias, 'Go! This man [Paul] is My chosen instrument to carry My name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.' "

Acts 9:1-15 provides the account of Paul's salvation unto eternal life wherein verse 15 quoted above authenticates the Lord Jesus Christ's appointment of Paul as Apostle to the Gentiles.

2) [1 Cor 9:1]:

(1 Cor 9:1 NASB) [Paul wrote] "Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?"

Paul declares that the basis of his apostleship begins with his seeing the risen Lord Jesus and that this is affirmed by the work that he did with the Corinthians.

3) [Ro 1:1; 11:13]:

(Ro 1:1 NASB) "Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,)

(Ro 11:13 NASB) But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry," 

4) [Gal 2:6-8]:

(Gal 2:6 NASB) "But from those who were of high reputation [Apostles and leaders of the church in Jerusalem, (vv. 1-5)] (what they were makes no difference to me [Paul]; God shows no partiality) - well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.

(Gal 2:7 NASB) But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised

(Gal 2:8 NASB) (for He [God] Who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles),"

5) [1 Cor 15:7-9]:

(1 Cor 15:7 NASB) "then He [Christ] appeared to James, then to all the apostles;

(1 Cor 15:8 NASB) and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me [Paul] also.

(1 Cor 15:9 NASB) For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God."

Paul’s begining as an Apostle started with his enounter with the risen Lord Jesus Christ with him on the road to Damascus. His conversion was a sharp break in - a reversal of - his life. He credits it to the eternal will and special action of God. His response was immediate and one of commitment to the Jesus he had formerly persecuted, (Acts 9:1-15). He became an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God (1 Cor. 1:1; 2 Cor. 1:1; Eph. 1:1), but nevertheless of his own volition. Being an apostle means being “set apart for the gospel” (Rom. 1:1) by God “before he was born” (Gal. 1:15). The office of Apostle is one that is to be characterized by faithfulness, hence it will be accomplished by the will and grace of God, (1 Cor. 15:10).

6) [2 Cor 12:1-21]:

(2 Cor 12:1 NASB) [Paul wrote of himself]: "Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.

(2 Cor 12:2 NASB) I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago - whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows - such a man was caught up to the third heaven.

(2 Cor 12:3 NASB) And I know how such a man - whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows -

(2 Cor 12:4 NASB) was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.

(2 Cor 12:5 NASB) On behalf of such a man I will boast; but on my behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses.

(2 Cor 12:6 NASB) For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me.

(2 Cor 12:7 NASB) Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me - to keep me from exalting myself!

(2 Cor 12:8 NASB) Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.

(2 Cor 12:9 NASB) And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

(2 Cor 12:10 NASB) Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

(2 Cor 12:11 NASB) I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody.

(2 Cor 12:12 NASB) The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.

[So Paul does in fact boast of supernatural  experiences and performing signs and wonders and miracles; but he does not emphasize them lest the predominate role of God's grace in his life be diminished. On the other hand, he makes mention of them to authenticate himself as a true Apostle and to show the authority of God behind his appointment as an Apostle - the justice of his cause; and not the significance of himself. Compare this with the following passages: Ro 15:18-19; Gal 3:5; 1 Cor 2:4; 1 Thes 1:5 which write of signs authenticating Paul's  proclaimed word. The book of Acts also records several miracles in connection to authenticating Paul's apostleship: Acts 14:8-10; 15:12; 16:16-18; 19:11-12; 20:7-12; 28:1-9]

(2 Cor 12:13 NASB) For in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not become a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!

(2 Cor 12:14 NASB) Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.

(2 Cor 12:15 NASB) I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?

(2 Cor 12:16 NASB) But be that as it may, I did not burden you myself; nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I took you in by deceit.

(2 Cor 12:17 NASB) Certainly I have not taken advantage of you through any of those whom I have sent to you, have I?

(2 Cor 12:18 NASB) I urged Titus to go, and I sent the brother with him. Titus did not take any advantage of you, did he? Did we not conduct ourselves in the same spirit and walk in the same steps?

(2 Cor 12:19 NASB) All this time you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and all for your upbuilding, beloved.

(2 Cor 12:20 NASB) For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances;

(2 Cor 12:21 NASB) I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced."

7) [2 Cor 5:11-21]:

(2 Cor 5:11 NASB) "Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.

(2 Cor 5:12 NASB) We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart.

(2 Cor 5:13 NASB) For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you.

(2 Cor 5:14 NASB) For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;

(2 Cor 5:15 NASB) and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him Who died and rose again on their behalf.

(2 Cor 5:16 NASB) Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.

(2 Cor 5:17 NASB) Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

(2 Cor 5:18 NASB) Now all these things are from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,

(2 Cor 5:19 NASB) namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

(2 Cor 5:20 NASB) Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

[Note that word rendered "we" referring back to verse 17: anyone who is in Christ refers to all believers in Christ Jesus, to which is applied the function of "ambassadors for Christ," in the sense that all believers are messangers / apostles of the gospel of God]

(2 Cor 5:21 NASB) He made Him Who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

In 2 Cor 5:11-21 quoted above, Paul stressed his apostolic authorization and calling as an ambassador - a messenger for Christ. Note that he included all believers in that general function as well. An apostle is a bearer of divine revelation about being reconciled to God unto eternal life which is fulfilled in Christ through faith in Him so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him - a message which is to be proclaimed by all believers.

8) [Compare Acts 22:12-15]:

(Acts 22:12 NASB) "A certain Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law, and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there,

(Acts 22:13 NASB) came to me, and standing near said to me, Brother Saul, receive your sight!' And at that very time I looked up at him.

(Acts 22:14 NASB) "And he [Ananias] said, 'The God of our fathers has appointed you [Paul] to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth.

(Acts 22:15 NASB) For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard."

Ananias, who was evidently led by the Spirit of God, having declared Saul's sight received / restored in verse 13, authenticates Paul's office as an Apostle in verses 14-15 quoted above.

9) [2 Pet 3:15-16]:

(2 Pet 3:15 NASB) "and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,

(2 Pet 3:16 NASB) as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."

Apostle Peter refers to Paul as "our beloved brother." He states that Paul wrote "according to the wisdom given him." Peter refers to the collection of Paul's letters, calling them "Scripture."

Note that Luke was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write what he wrote, including his account of Paul being called by the risen Christ to be an apostle in Acts 9:15.

II) [Gal 1:1-2]:

(Gal 1:1 YLT) "Paul, ... apostle - not from men, nor through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, Who did raise Him [from] the dead -

(Gal 1:2 YLT) and all the brethren with me, to the assemblies of Galatia."

Note that Paul customarily included an expression of thanksgiving and praise for the believers along with the names of those of his brethren at the beginning of his letter who were with him at the time of his writing of his letter, (cf. 1 and 2 Cor, Phil, Col, 1 and 2 Thes, Philem); but in this letter to the churches in Galatia neither the names nor the thanksgiving are included, shortening the opening of his epistle, moving more quickly to the serious business of legalism beginning at verse 6. Nevertheless, the mention of the brethren who were with Paul implied that what Paul was going to deal with / teach in his letter was not peculiar to Paul, was nevertheless held in common with others who were with him.

III) [Gal 1:3-5]:

(Gal 1:3 NIV) "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and ... Lord Jesus Christ:

(Gal 1:4 YLT) [the One Who] did give Himself for our sins, ... that He might deliver us out of the present [lit., having been present, (perfect participle)] evil age, according to the will of God [and] our Father

(Gal 1:5 NASB) to Whom be the glory forevermore. Amen."

A) (Gal 1:3) [Manuscript Evidence For Gal 1:3]:

(Gal 1:3 NIV) "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and ... Lord Jesus Christ" =

WH NU and Sinaiticus, A, P, Psi, 33, it(b) have "God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ"

TR, p45, p51(vid), B, D, F, G, H, 1739, Maj, syr, cop(bo, sa) have "God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ"

0278, 1877 and no versions have "God the Father and Lord Jesus Christ"

The NU editors adopted the WH NU reading because it accords with Paul's usual style (cf. Ro 1:7; 1 Cor 1:3; 2 Cor 1:2; Eph 1:2; Phil 1:2). However, it has to be noted that Paul did not always use the formula "God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ;" in three other instances, Paul wrote "God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph 1:3; 2 Tim 1:2; Titus 1:3). Thus, the textual decision here should not be made on the basis of style, but documentation. Both early and diverse manuscripts support the reading "God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ," signifying the Diety of Jesus Christ.

B) (Gal 1:3) [Grace And Peace To You From God Our Father And Lord Jesus Christ]:

(Gal 1:3 NIV) "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and ... Lord Jesus Christ" =

The reference to grace and peace in the phrase rendered "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ" appears in very similar phrases in every one of Paul's epistles - evidently a standard part of the beginning of his letters. On the other hand, the two words have an especially emphatic meaning in Galatians. The word rendered "grace," means unmerited favor from God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ towards the believer in securing salvation unto eternal life and all blessings . And the word "peace," means harmony, an absence of enmity between the believer and God. Since an individual is declared absolutely righteous when he trusts in Christ for eternal life, he has eternal peace with God, (cf. Ro 5:1) . So then he is no longer at enmity with God and Lord Jesus Christ relative to his eternal destiny, . On the other hand, the believer will still struggle with sin in his mortal life, (Ro 7:7-25 ). Each time the child of God sins he is out of fellowship with God, (1 Jn 2:15-17; Eph 4:30) - out of temporal peace with God. Hence author Paul is evidently referring to temporal, not eternal peace in Gal 1:1. So relative to grace and peace in particular in Paul's letter to the churches in Galatia, which letter largely addresses the lack of grace and peace in the assemblies because of the legalism that has taken a foothold, the meanings of the words grace and peace are made emphatic. For to choose to go back to the Law as a means for salvation unto eternal life as the Galatians were doing, (as if that were possible, and it is not), is to have fallen / departed from the grace basis of ones salvation unto eternal life and in ones temporal lives. One has fallen out of temporal fellowship, peace and grace with God . they are at enmity with him - but not eternal peace and grace, as these were made secure at the moment of saving faith, (cf. Eph 1:13-14).

Notice that in the phrase rendered "from God our Father and ... Lord Jesus Christ," the word order affirms the Diety of Jesus Christ as God our Father.

C) (Gal 1:4-5) [Grace And Peace To You From God Our Father And Lord Lord Jesus Christ - The One Who Did Give Himself For Our Sins, That He Might Deliver Us Out Of The Present Evil Age, According To The Will Of Our God And Our Father To Whom Be The Glory Forevermore. Amen]:

(Gal 1:3 NIV) "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and ... Lord Jesus Christ" (Gal 1:4 YLT) [the One Who] did give Himself for our sins, ... that He might deliver us out of the present [lit., having been present, (perfect participle)] evil age, according to the will of God [and] our Father, (Gal 1:5 NASB) to Whom be the glory forevermore. Amen." =

Author Paul's statement in Gal 1:3-5, focuses upon the temporal grace and peace of God which might and should be experienced by believers in their temporal lives as a result of their having believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, because it is He Who did give Himself for their sins - referring to the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ for the sins of all mankind having delivered them out of the present evil age from eternal destruction. And because of Christ they might and should also experience His grace and peace in their temporal lives while in their mortal bodies in this present evil / sinful age (the age since Adam and Eve sinned) - should they conduct themselves in accordance with the grace and peace of God; and not revert to anti-grace / anti-peace legalism / human works. All of this author Paul stipulated at the end of Gal 1:4-5 to be in accordance with the will of God and our Father, to Whom be the glory forevermore. Whereupon Paul ended with "Amen" to signify a prayer that this might and should be the case in the believers' temporal experience. This statement is a lead in to the key subject of the believers in Galatia reverting to legalism, thus blocking their potential to receive the benefits of the grace and peace of God in their temporal lives.

IV) [Gal 1:6-9]:

(Gal 1:6 NKJV) I am amazed [in the sense astonished] that you are so quickly deserting Him Who called you by [the] grace [of Christ] [unto] a different gospel;

A) (Gal 1:6) [Manuscript Evidence For Gal 1:6]:

(Gal 1:6 NKJV) "I am amazed [in the sense astonished] that you are so quickly deserting Him Who called you by [the] grace [of Christ] [unto] a different gospel;" =

TR WH NU p51, Sinaiticus, A, B, F(c), Psi, 33, 1739, 1881, Maj, syr(p), cop(bo) have "grace of Christ."

p46(vid), F*, G, H(vid), it(b), Tertullian, Cyprian, Pelagius have "grace"

D, 326, syr(h**) have "grace of Jesus Christ"

327 has "grace of God"

If "Christ" or Jesus Christ" or "God" had originally been in the text, why would any scribe have deleted them? Thus, it is likely that the shorter reading, "grace" having early (p46) and diverse support, is original and that scribes adorned the word rendered "grace" with one of these divine titles. For similar reasons the shorter reading was adopted for the NEB and REB.

(Gal 1:7 NKJV) which is really not another [gospel] but [lit. since] there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

(Gal 1:8 NASB) But even if we, or an angel from heaven, [should] preach to you a gospel [contrary to] what we [did] preach to you, let him be accursed.

(Gal 1:9 NKJV) As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone [of you] preaches any other gospel to you than what you [did receive], let him be accursed.

B) (Gal 1:9) [Manuscript Evidence For Gal 1:9]:

p46 does not include verse 9, evidently missing five lines at the bottom of the page that displays the first part of Galatians. This omission might have been accidental, due to homoeoteleuton, i.e., similarity of verse 8 which ends with the same word as verse 9,  or deliberately excised because it was preceived as redundant.

C) (Gal 1:6-9) Paul Is Astonished That The Believers In Galatia Are So Quickly Deserting God Who Called Them By The Grace Of Christ - Astonished That They Would Believe In A Different Gospel Which Is Really Not Another Gospel At All. But There Were Some Who Were Troubling Them, Who Wanted To Pervert The Gospel Of Christ. Paul Then States That Even If We - Himself And Those With Him - Or An Angel From Heaven, Should Preach To Them A Gospel Contrary To What They Did Preach To Those In Galatia, Let Him (Them) Be Accursed. Whereupon Paul Repeated Himself: So Now I Say Again, If Anyone Of You Preaches Any Other Gospel To You Than What You Did Receive, Let Him Be Accursed

(Gal 1:6 NKJV) I am amazed [in the sense astonished] that you are so quickly deserting Him [God] Who called you by [the] grace [of Christ] [unto] a different gospel; (Gal 1:7 NKJV) which is really not another [gospel] but [lit. since] there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. (Gal 1:8 NASB) But even if we, or an angel from heaven, [should] preach to you a gospel [contrary to] what we [did] preach to you, let him be accursed. (Gal 1:9 NKJV) As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone [of you] preaches any other gospel to you than what you [did receive], let him be accursed." =

Author Paul moves abruptly to a confrontational mode, in lieu of the customary statement of thanksgiving and praise for the believers to whom he is writing. He evidently has no thanksgiving or praise for them at all. He states to them that he is astonished that they so quickly after their conversion to faith in Christ deserted God Who called them by the grace of Christ to believe in the gospel that Paul preached to them. Notice that Paul states that God had called by the grace of Christ the Galatian believers to believe in the gospel of grace and peace which they very soon rejected in favor of a false gospel. They deserted God - the very One Who had called them to faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone + nothing - and espoused a different gospel that others, who had quickly moved into the area, proclaimed instead of the gospel of God which Paul had just recently taught to them. These interlopers taught the Galatian believers another gospel which Paul declared was really not another gospel at all - in the sense that it did not provide eternal life. It was a perversion of the gospel of Christ. For God's gospel is one of grace and peace; and the false / perverted gospel is one which is dependent upon being obedient to the Law of Moses - legalism / meritorious - a complete desertion of God and His grace and peace. Whereupon Paul then wrote, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we did preach to you, let him be accursed," i.e., condemned by God. And Paul repeats this condemnation: "As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone of you preaches any other gospel to you than what you did receive, let him be accursed."

D) (Gal 1:9) [Eternal Condemnation Is Not Necessarily In View For Those Who Preach A False Gospel]:

(Gal 1:9 NKJV) "As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone [of you] preaches any other gospel to you than what you [did receive], let him be accursed." =

Relative to the word renderd "accursed," the only thing that condemns one eternally is never having trusted alone in Christ alone unto eternal life. So the word does not signify eternal condemnation in the context of Gal 1:8-9 as some contend:

1) [Compare Jn 3:18]:

(Jn 3:18 NKJV) "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the [one and only] Son of God."

a) [What Is The Anathema Of  Galatians 1:8-9? Are All Who Preach A False Gospel Eternally Condemned?" by Bob Wilkin]:

"A better rendering of the word anathema in Galatians 1 is: "let him be accursed" or "let him be under God's judgment." Either of those translations allows the English reader to decide for himself whether temporal or eternal judgment is in view.

That Paul was referring to temporal judgment in Gal 1:8-9 is indicated by the immediate context and supported by the use of the term anathema elsewhere in Scripture.

The word anathema is only used four times in the NT outside of this passage. In two of those passages, Acts 23:14 and 1 Cor 16:22, the understanding that temporal judgment is in view is suggested by the context. In addition, it is not even certain that either of the other two passages (Rom 9:3 and 1 Cor 12:3) refer to eternal condemnation (although the addition of the words "from Christ" after anathema in Rom 9:3 strongly suggests that eternal condemnation is in view there).

Similarly, anathema was routinely used in the Greek OT (the Septuagint) to refer to the temporal destruction and cursing of people and cities (e.g., Josh 6:17; 7:1-13ff.; 22:20; Judg 1:17; Zech 14:11). There are no clear examples of it being used in the OT to refer to eternal condemnation.

It is noteworthy that in the context of Gal 1:8-9 Paul included himself and the other apostles and even unfallen angels in the anathema: "even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you . . ." Paul may have been implying that it was remotely possible that even the apostles were capable of distorting the Gospel in some way. This seems a reasonable inference since in chapter two Paul points out that for a time the Apostles Peter and Barnabus were guilty of acting inconsistently with the Gospel (Gal 2:11-14ff.; especially note v 14 where Paul says that Peter and Barnabus "were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel")!

If apostles were capable of distorting the Gospel, surely all other believers are as well. This is born out by comparing verses 6 and 9 of Galatians 1. In the latter verse Paul clearly indicates that his readers had previously "received" the Gospel which Paul proclaimed to them. There can thus be no question but that Paul was writing to genuine believers. Yet in v 6 Paul rebukes them for "turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ to another gospel." Genuine believers are capable of being duped by false teachers. And, logically, once duped they will become false teachers themselves whenever they share their faith with others.

Paul's point is that if we learn of anyone preaching a false gospel, we should treat them like someone with a highly contagious deadly disease. We should stay away from them. Turn a deaf ear toward them. Avoid supporting them in any way. False teachers are carriers of a virus much worse than HIV. It is imperative that we separate ourselves from such people (cf. 2 John 10-11). Otherwise we are likely to become infected with their disease and to spread it to others."

V) [Gal 1:10-12]:

(Gal 1:10 NASB) "For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

(Gal 1:11 NKJV) [For] I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.

(Gal 1:12 NASB) For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ"

A) (Gal 1:11) [Manuscript Evidence For Gal 1:11]:

WH NU Sinaiticus(1), B, D*(c), F, G, 33, it, cop(sa), Treg, Alf, Weis, Sod, UBS have "for I make known to you"

p46, Sinaiticus*(2), A, D, K, L, Psi, 1739, 1881, Maj, syr, cop(bo), byz, Tisc have "now [but] I make known to you"

The textual evidence for both readings is divided, as are the internal reasons for them. On the one hand, it can be argued that 1:11 provides a summary (hence, "for" is appropriate; on the other hand, it can be argued that 1:11 both summarizes and begins a new thought (hence "now" or "but" is appropriate as a resumptive conjunction and mild contrastive).

The context lends itself to a conclusion of the thought brought up in verse 10, that Paul's preaching - especially relative to the gospel - is not to please men, but it comes from God.

B) (Gal 1:10-12) [Paul Begins To Provide More Detail That Corroborates His Claim That What He Taught Was The Truth From Jesus Christ. He Begins With Two Questions And An Answer: "For Am I Now Seeking The Favor Of Men, Or Of God? Or Am I Striving To Please Men? If I Were Still Trying To Please Men, I Would Not Be A Bond-Servant Of Christ. Whereupon He Stipulated, "For I Neither Received It [The Gospel] From Man, Nor Was I Taught It [By Man], But I Received It Through A Revelation Of The Risen Jesus Christ]:

(Gal 1:10 NASB) "For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. (Gal 1:11 NKJV) [For] I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. (Gal 1:12 NASB) For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ" =

After twice declaring "accursed" those who opposed the gospel that he taught, Paul begins to provide more detail that corroborates his claim that what he taught was the truth - the gospel of God given directly to Paul from the risen Jesus Christ Himself!

1) [Compare Acts 22:12-21]:

(Acts 22:12 NASB) "A certain Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law, and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there,

(Acts 22:13 NASB) came to me, and standing near said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight! And at that very time I looked up at him.

(Acts 22:14 NASB) And he said, 'The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth.

(Acts 22:15 NASB) For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard.

(Acts 22:16 NASB) Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling in His name.'

(Acts 22:17 NASB) It happened when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I fell into a trance,

(Acts 22:18 NASB) and I saw Him [the risen Jesus Christ] saying to me, 'Make haste, and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.'

(Acts 22:19 NASB) And I [Paul] said, 'Lord, they themselves understand that in one synagogue after another I used to imprison and beat those who believed in You.

(Acts 22:20 NASB) And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing by approving, and watching out for the coats of those who were slaying him.'

(Acts 22:21 NASB) And He [Jesus] said to me, 'God! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.' "

2) [Compare Acts 26:12-18]:

(Acts 26:12 NASB) "While so engaged as I [Paul] was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests,

(Acts 26:13 NASB) at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me.

(Acts 26:14 NASB) And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'

(Acts 26:15 NASB) And I said, 'Who are You, Lord? And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus Whom you are persecuting.

(Acts 26:16 NASB) But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a  minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I appear to you;

(Acts 26:17 NASB) rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you,

(Acts 26:18 NASB to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.' "

So Paul begins in Gal 1:10 with two questions and an answer to those questions: "For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. Whereupon he stipulated, "For I make known to you, brethren, [fellow believers in Christ] that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man [in the sense that it was not made up by any man]. For I neither received it [the gospel] from man, nor was I taught it [by man], but I received it through a revelation of the risen Jesus Christ." Although the gospel taught to the Galatian brethren was taught by Paul, and although Paul might have heard a number of Christians preach the gospel such as Stephen and Ananias, no man was the origin of the gospel taught to Paul but God alone directly by revelation from the risen Jesus Christ Himself. Paul received it by special revelation.

3) [Compare Gal 1:15-18]:

(Gal 1:15 NASB) "But when God, Who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, was pleased

(Gal 1:16 NASB) to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,

(Gal 1:17 NASB) nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.

(Gal 1:18 NASB) Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days."

4) [Compare 1 Cor 11:23; 15:3-8]:

(1 Cor 11:23 NASB) "For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;

(1 Cor 15:3 NASB) For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

(1 Cor 15:4 NASB) and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

(1 Cor 15:5 NASB) and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

(1 Cor 15:6 NASB) After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;

(1 Cor 15:7 NASB) then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;

(1 Cor 15:8 NASB) and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also."

5) [1 Thes 4:15]:

(1 Thes 4:15 NASB) "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

(1 Thes 4:16 NASB) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of god, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

(1 Thes 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord."

Although Paul had received no instruction from the apostles, but from the risen Jesus Christ, yet when he met them it was determined that his Gospel exactly agreed with theirs.

The Judaizers had charged Paul with teaching freedom from the Law evidently in order to curry the Gentiles' favor. But the tone of Paul's letter, specifically the harsh language Paul used was hardly calculated to win the approval of men. Men-pleasers simply do not hurl anathemas against those who proclaim false gospels. Indeed, if the apostle had wanted to please men, he would have remained a zealous Pharisee and promoter of the Law rather than becoming a bond-servant of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, it is certainly well pleasing to the believer that his eternity has been settled by grace through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone for eternal life.

VI) [Gal 1:13-14]:

(Gal 1:13 HOLMAN) For you [heard] about my former way of life in Judaism: I persecuted God's church to an extreme degree and tried to destroy it.

(Gal 1:14 NKJV) And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation [lit., race], being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

A) (Gal 1:13-14) [Paul Stipulates That The Believers In Galatia Had Heard About His Former Way Of Life In Judaism When He Persecuted God's Church To An Extreme Degree And Tried To Destroy It; And That He Advanced In Judaism Beyond Many Of His Contemporaries Of His Own People, Being More Exceedingly Zealous For The Traditions Of His Fathers]:

(Gal 1:13 HOLMAN) For you [heard] about my former way of life in Judaism: I persecuted God's church to an extreme degree and tried to destroy it. (Gal 1:14 NKJV) And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation [lit., race], being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers." =

Author Paul then gave an account of his former way of life in Judaism which the Galatian believers had evidently heard about: He persecuted God's church to an extreme degree and tried to destroy it. And he advanced in Judaism beyond many of his contemporaries as an Israelite, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of his fathers.  Hence Paul was highly familiar with the teachings of Judaism, especially the Law of Moses and the accompanying Rabbinical traditions.

1) [Compare Acts 26:9-11]:

(Acts 26:9 NASB) "So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

(Acts 26:10 NASB) And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death I cast my vote against them.

(Acts 26:11 NASB) And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities."

2) [Compare Phil 3:4-6]:

(Phil 3:4 NASB) "Although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more:

(Phil 3:5 NASB) circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee;

(Phil 3:6 NASB) as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless."

3) [Compare Acts 8:1-3]:

(Acts 8:1 NASB) "Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him [Stephen] to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

(Acts 8:2 NASB) Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him.

(Acts 8:3 NASB) But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison."

4) [Compare Acts 9:1-2, 13-14]:

(Acts 9:1 NASB) "Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,

(Acts 9:2 NASB) and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

(Acts 9:13 NASB) But Ananias answered, 'Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem;

(Acts 9:14 NASB) and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name."

5) [Compare Acts 22:3-5; 19-20]:

(Acts 22:3 NASB) "I [Paul] am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the Law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.

(Acts 22:4 NASB) I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and putting both men and women into prisons,

(Acts 22:5 NASB) as also the high priest and all the Council of the elders can testify. From them I also received letters to the brethren, and started off for Damascus in order to bring even those who were there to Jerusalem as prisoners to be punished.

(Acts 22:19 NASB) And I [Paul] said, 'Lord, [the risen Jesus Christ] they themselves understand that in one synagogue after another I used to imprison and beat those who believed in You.

(Acts 22:20 NASB) And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing by approving, and watching out for the coats of those who were slaying him.' "

6) [Compare Acts 9:21]:

(Acts 9:21 NASB) "All those hearing him [Paul] continued to be amazed, and were saying, 'Is this not he who who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?"

7) [Compare Gal 1:23]:

(Gal 1:23 NASB) "But only, they kept hearing, 'He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.' "

8) [Compare 1 Cor 15:9]:

(1 Cor 15:9 NASB) "For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God."

VII) [Gal 1:15-20)]:

(Gal 1:15 YLT) But when God was ... pleased - having separated me from the womb of my mother, and having called me through His grace -

(Gal 1:16 NASB) to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him [His Son] among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood,

(Gal 1:17 NASB) nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.

(Gal 1:18 NASB) then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days.

(Gal 1:19 NASB) But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother.

(Gal 1:20 NASB) (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying)."

A) (Gal 1:15a) [Manuscript Evidence For Gal 1:15a]:

(Gal 1:15 YLT) "[But] when God was ... pleased - having separated me from the womb of my mother, and having called me through His grace -" =

TR, WH, NU, Sinaiticus, A, D, Psi, K, L, byz, sa, bo, 0278, 33, 1739, Maj, cop have "God was pleased"

UBS, p46, B, Alf, Tisc, Weis, var mod editions, have "He was pleased"

The title "God" is bracketed in WH NU to signal the editors' doubts about its inclusion in the text. Indeed, it was probably added by scribes to clarify the subject, which is obviously "God," for it is God Who revealed Christ to and in Paul. The testimony of the two earliest witnesses, P46 and B, is sufficient to show that the text originally lacked this title.

B) (Gal 1:15b) [Manuscript Evidence For Gal 1:15b]:

(Gal 1:15 YLT) "But when God was ... pleased - having separated me from the womb of my mother, and having called me through His grace - TR WH NU Sinaiticus, A, B, D, Maj. have "and having called me by His grace." =

P46, 1739, 1881 do not include this phrase.

Perhaps the phrase was accidentally omitted due to homoeoteleuton - the eye of a scribe passing from "mou" [my] to "autou" [His]. Or it could have been intentionally deleted because it was seen as an extra intrusion into the main thought of 1:15-16 - "God was pleased ... to reveal His Son in me." However, it cannot be ruled out that the variant preserves the original text.

In any case, the phrase rendered, "and having called me by His grace" occurs earlier in 1:6. It's presence in verse 15 emphasizes that Paul's election - just as the Galatians' election - was by grace, not by works.

C) (Gal 1:17) [Manuscript Evidence For Gal 1:17]:

(Gal 1:17 NASB) "nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus." =

Sinaiticus, A, Psi, 33, 1739, Maj have "nor did I go up to Jerusalem" Travel to Jerusalem was customarily seen as a "going up" because of its higher altitude in comparison to the surrounding area.

P51, B, D, F, G have the verb "go away" This statement indicates that Paul did not depart Damascus for Jerusalem after his conversion.

P46 alone has the common verb rendered "nor did I leave for Jerusalem.

(Gal 1:18 NASB) then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days.

D) (Gal 1:18) [Manuscript Evidence For Gal 1:18]:

(Gal 1:18 NASB) then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. =

WH NU p46, p51, Sinaiticus*, A, B, 33, 1739*, syr(hmg), cop have "Cephas"

Sinaiticus(2), D, F, G, Psi, 0278, 1739(mg), 1881, Maj have "Peter"

Having early and diverse support, the WH NU reading of  "Cephas" is decidely superior. Scribes substituted the more familiar name, "Peter," for the Aramaic surname, "Cephas." This reading, found in TR, was popularized by KJV and NKJV. For the sake of modern readers, the NIV and NLT have "Peter" in the text, while noting that the Greek text reads "Cephas."

(Gal 1:19 NASB) But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother.

(Gal 1:20 NASB) (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying).

E) (Gal 1:15-20) [Paul Continued His Defense Of His Apostleship And The Gospel Of God Which Was Taught Him By The Risen Christ, And Which He Preached To The Galatians. He Declared He Was Called By God To Do This Before He Was Even Born, Not Through Anything God Foresaw In Him, But Solely Through God's Grace - To Reveal His Son In Paul, That He Might Preach Christ Among The Gentiles. Paul Did Not Immediately Confer With Flesh And Blood]:

(Gal 1:15 YLT) But when God was ... pleased - having separated me from the womb of my mother, and having called me through His grace - (Gal 1:16 NASB) to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him [His Son] among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, (Gal 1:17 NASB) nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. (Gal 1:18 NASB) then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. (Gal 1:19 NASB) But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother. (Gal 1:20 NASB) (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying)." =

Paul continued his defense of his apostleship and the gospel of God which was taught to him by the risen Christ, and which he preached to the Galatians. He declared he was called by God to do this before he was even born, not through anything God foresaw in him, but solely through God's grace.

Paul indicated that God's calling did reveal God's Son in him in the sense of revelation from God to Paul so that he might know and preach Christ among the Gentiles. God's revelation of Jesus in Paul was essentially concerning Who Jesus was and what his life, death, and resurrection signified. This became so much a part of him, even at this early stage of his Christian experience, that he immediately began to make the revelation of Christ known to others:

1) [Ref Acts 9:19b-20]:

(Acts 9:19b NASB) [After Saul could see again, he was baptized, ate, regained his strength, then] "Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus,

(Acts 9:20 NASB) At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God."

So Paul stated that he did not immediately confer with flesh and blood after his conversion, nor did he go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles in order to receive doctrinal instruction. Instead, he went away to Arabia - evidently when and where he received more of his doctrinal training - in that part of the Arabian desert not too far from Damascus, because he came back to Damascus to preach there. So he evidently received his training in the doctrines of the faith from the risen Jesus Christ, and then returned once more to Damascus fully trained / prepared to defend the doctrines of the faith, confounding the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ - which he did in Damascus until his life was threatened and he had to leave. After three years in Damascus, (from his conversion or from his return from Arabia is not stipulated), he went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him for fifteen days - sufficient time for them to get acquainted as the Greek word "histororesai" rendered "to become acquainted with" implies. It is therefore that the two spoke of Christ as He had taught them both, confirming their common understanding of the gospel and other doctrines of the faith. So the primary reason was not for Paul's instruction as some contend. For the point of Paul's argument, it is important to note that his was a private visit to get acquainted and not one designed to secure the support of any human authorities, or receive instruction from them.

Paul's departure from Damascus to Jerusalem was under great duress - the threat of losing his life as a result of contending for the faith against the Jews who lived at Damascus:

2) [Acts 9:22-30]:

(Acts 9:22 NASB) "But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ.

[Contrary to those who contend that Luke's account of Paul's training by the Lord and Paul's account in Gal 1:16-17 are in conflict; there is room here between verses 22 and 23 for Paul's Arabian sojourn in which he received more doctrinal training for a considerable period from the Lord and then "returned once more to Damascus," (Gal 1:17). Luke's account in Acts 9:22-23 allows for the plausibility that Paul went into Arabia to study and ponder God's Word rather than to preach - for a considerable period of time, so that nothing of historical  importance such as the establishment of churches were reported by Paul or Luke during this time, except for the further education of Paul in the doctrines of the faith]

(Acts 9:23 NASB) When many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him,

(Acts 9:24 NASB) but their plot became known to Saul. They were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death;

(Acts 9:25 NASB) but [the] disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a large basket.

(Acts 9:26 NASB) When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.

(Acts 9:27 NASB) But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.

(Acts 9:28 NASB) And he was with them, moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord.

[Note that in Gal 1:19 Paul stipulated that he did also see James, the Lord's brother - in the sense of a visit, not for instruction. But no one else. Acts 9:26-28 corroborates that Paul did not receive an open reception from those in the Jerusalem church. Nevertheless he spent time speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord to people in Jerusalem, evidencing that he had already learned the doctrines of the faith before he got to Jerusalem]

(Acts 9:29 NASB) And he [Paul] was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death.

(Acts 9:30 NASB) But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus."

3) [Compare 2 Cor 11:32-33]:

(2 Cor 11:32 NASB) "In Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me [Paul],

(2 Cor 11:33 NASB) and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands."

F) (Gal 1:11-12; 15-16; 16b-17; 17-20) Paul Carefully And Repeatedly Made The Point That He Had Not Received His Training From Flesh And Blood, I.E., From Mortal Man

(Gal 1:11 NKJV) "[For] I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. (Gal 1:12 NASB) For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ, (Gal 1:15 YLT) But when God was ... pleased - having separated me from the womb of my mother, and having called me through His grace - (Gal 1:16 NASB) to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him [His Son] among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, (Gal 1:17 NASB) nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. (Gal 1:18 NASB) then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. (Gal 1:19 NASB) But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother. (Gal 1:20 NASB) (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying)." =

In Gal 1:20, Paul remarked that while he was in Jerusalem, he did not see, in the sense of visit with, any other of the apostles except Peter and James, the Lord's brother - in the sense that James was an apostle like Peter; and a familial / flesh and blood brother, born of the same mother as Jesus was - and not just a brother in the faith, as some contend . So there is no indication here relative to Paul's stay in Jerusalem that he received any formal training in the doctrines of the faith from the apostles in Jerusalem. Paul carefully and repeatedly made the point that he had not received his training from any man with his statement, "I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus," (Gal 1:16b-17).

After repeatedly declaring that Paul received his instruction through no man as follows:

"For I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man," (Gal 1:11) =

[Notice that the gospel Paul preached was not something man made up]

"For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ," (Gal 1:12) =

[Furthermore, Paul proclaimed that he was not taught the gospel he preached by any man, but received it by revelation from Jesus Christ Himself]

"But when God was ... pleased - having separated me from the womb of my mother, and having called me through His grace - to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him [His Son] among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood," (Gal 1:15-16) =

[Paul went on to say that God set him apart and called Him to preach the Son among the Gentiles the information of which, Paul repeats was not made available by consulting with any man, (cf. vv. 11, 12). Notice that he had just stipulated in verses 11 & 12 that the information he received re: the gospel was by direct revelation from Jesus Christ Himself and not by or through any man]

"nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus," (Gal 1:17) =

[Relative to how Paul received the information of the message about the Son he was preaching among the Gentiles, Paul testified that he did not go directly to Jerusalem after his conversion implying that none of those in Jerusalem provided the information re: the gospel he was preaching. But instead, he went immediately into Arabia and then returned to Damascus]

"Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days, But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother." (Gal 1:18-19) =

[It is emphatically implied here that Paul was trained in the gospel, during the three year period he spent in Arabia and Damascus immediately after his conversion by revelation from Jesus Christ. Then Paul went to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter, staying with him fifteen days and James the brother of Jesus thereafter. All of this after he had received his training in the doctrines of the faith]

Whereupon in Gal 1:20, Paul goes on to say, "Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying."

VIII) [Gal 1:21-24]:

(Gal 1:21 NASB) Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.

(Gal 1:22 NKJV) [But] I was unknown [lit., being unknown] by face to the churches of Judea which [are] in Christ.

(Gal 1:23 YLT) [But] only they were hearing that 'he who is persecuting us then, [does] now [preach], the faith that then he was [destroying]

(Gal 1:24 NASB) And they were glorifying God because of me."

A) (Gal 1:21-24) [After Paul's Travel To Jerusalem, He Went Into The Regions Of Syria And Cilicia. Although He Was Unknown By Face To The Churches Of Judea Which Are In Christ, They Were Hearing That 'He Who Is Persecuting Us Then, Does Now Preach, The Faith That Then He Was Destroying' So The Churches In Syria And Cilicia Were Glorifying God Because Of The Preaching Of Paul]

(Gal 1:21 NASB) "Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. (Gal 1:22 NKJV) [But] I was unknown [lit., being unknown] by face to the churches of Judea which [are] in Christ. (Gal 1:23 YLT) [But] only they were hearing that 'he who is persecuting us then, [does] now [preach], the faith that then he was [destroying]. (Gal 1:24 NASB) And they were glorifying God because of me." =

After Paul's travel to Jerusalem, he went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. Although he was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which are in Christ, they were hearing that 'He who is persecuting us then, does now preach, the faith that then he was destroying.' So the churches in Syria and Cilicia were glorifying God because of the preaching of Paul.

Notice that Paul is not being chronological here, because Paul visited Cilicia (Tarsus) then Syria (Antioch) as indicated by Acts 9:30; 11:25-26.

1) [Compare Acts 9:30; 11:25-26]:

(Acts 9:30 NASB) "But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.

(Acts 11:25 NASB) And he [Barnabas] left for Tarsus  (Cilicia) to look for Saul

(Acts 11:26 NASB) and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch (Syria). And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch."

Paul is indicating that in the next period of his life he worked not in the immediate area of Jerusalem - in Judea, which would have been subject to the review of the other apostles - but far away from Jerusalem in the regions of Syria and Cilicia where he was of necessity his own authority. Tarsus was Paul's hometown. According to Acts 11:25 quoted above, Barnabas went to Tarsus to get Paul when he needed his help for the work in Antioch, the capital of Syria, where Paul carried on his ministry for a long and fruitful time.

And as a result of his working in the north far away from Jerusalem, Paul was personally unknown in Judea. He worked in relative obscurity for long years, until he began his famed missionary journeys through the call of the Holy Spirit in the Christians at Antioch.

The only report that the churches in Judea received was that Paul was the one who had persecuted the church, but was now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy. This would of course include the doctrine of justification by faith apart from circumcision or works. And in the face of this report the Judean believers praised God because of Paul. This was a telling blow to the false teachers. The Jewish Christians in Judea rejoiced in the same gospel the Judaizers sought to undermine.

Galatians chapter two